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Did you make it to imerge? A signature event of Birmingham’s recent Innovation Week and hosted by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), imerge recognized movers and shakers in Alabama’s start-up business scene. See who they are.
Through its Alabama Launchpad competition and nomination process, EDPA’s imerge event shined the spotlight on the companies and people in the state who demonstrated drive and innovation to move Alabama forward.
It is important to note that the Innovation Award winners announced and honored on July 12 were vetted by a committee and chosen by a panel of judges under the direction of Neill Wright, executive vice president of Liberty National Bank.
Best of the best start-ups and innovators!
Startup of the Year
A free web-based resource that connects patients to expert doctors, hospitals, ongoing clinical trial and peer-to-peer support.
Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Manufacturing
Alignment Simple Solutions, Pelham
They manufacture portable, affordable and accurate wheel alignment products and accessories for all vehicles.
Corporate Innovator of the Year (small company, 10-50 employees)
Inventure Renewables, Inc., Tuscaloosa
Pioneers that process technologies for the rapid, low-cost, high yield extraction of natural biochemical and material building blocks from low-value/waste to provide cost-effective, carbon neutral biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials.
Corporate Innovator of the Year (large company, 50+ employees)
The membership-based online grocery marketplace delivers fresh foods and household essentials through a community of shoppers and a convenient app.
Startup Executive of the Year
Dr. Karim Budhwani, Birmingham
Budhwani is CEO of CerFlux Personalized Medicine, which aims to reduce the pain, reduce the discomfort and reduce the cost of cancer treatment.
Business Executive of the Year
Miranda Bouldin Frost, Huntsville
Bouldin Frost is president and CEO of LogiCore, which has been an innovative resource for the Department of Defense, Government, and commercial clients since 2002.
Social Entrepreneur of the Year
Buddy Palmer, president and CEO of Create Birmingham
Create Birmingham has a mission to invest in imagination and invention. Through its programs, Create Birmingham constructs and supports diverse avenues for commercial and nonprofit creative success.
EDPA’s Lifetime Achievement in Innovation Award went to Art Tipton, president and CEO of Southern Research in Birmingham. Prior to receiving the award and earlier in the week, Southern Research announced the opening of a new STEM lab that will available to students interested in studying science, technology, engineering and math.
Young imerging Leaders
During the imerge event EDPA also recognized seven people as ‘imerging’ Young Leaders:
- Dustin Embrey
- Connie Griesemer
- Wayne Heard
- Trent Kocurek
- Chris Maurice
- Ben Podbielski
- Jeff Zeiders
Bham Now attended the imerge event on July 12, and these were the four comments that made an impression on us:
- Deon Gordon, president of Tech Birmingham, told the imerge attendees that the event, along with Sloss Tech and the economic development announcements made earlier in the week, “only amplifies what EDPA is doing statewide and is the manifestation of the spirit of true collaboration.”
- Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin went further to say, “If it were up to me, Innovation week would be more than a one-week celebration.” He added that EDPA reflects what is happening in Birmingham in a “positive way.”
- Nashville entrepreneur and singer/songwriter Holly Williams told the imerge audience about how she had to convince her father, Hank Williams, Jr., to “help her start her boutique business by co-signing on my very first business loan.” She also mentioned she would explore the possibility of opening a boutique or her other store, White’s Mercantile, in Birmingham.”
- Speaker Henrique Dubugras, co-founder of Brex, stressed the importance of having a “consistent work culture throughout an organization and, in today’s world, how you have to pay your employees well to be competitive.” His financial technology company recently raised $57 million in venture capital and redefining how corporate credit cards work for startups.
With such a productive and exciting 2018 imerge event, we cannot wait to see what is in store for imerge 2019!